Decorating Dilemma: Lisa’s Leather Sofa Living Room

Decorating around a leather sofa in a living room

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate team,

I need help decorating my family room! When I first moved into the home, I purchased two large leather sofas to fill my space. One was placed where it currently resides (as pictured below) and the other was perpendicular to it, with its back facing the kitchen . Although that layout was okay, it wasn’t ideal. It made the room feel small and closed off the seating area to the rest of the kitchen. I tried moving the sofas parallel to each other, but it closed off the entrance to the back deck. Also, the dark color of the sofas didn’t lend themselves to a bright cheery room no matter how many different pillows I tried.

Recently, I relocated the 9×12 rug that I had previously in the room and the other sofa to a different room in my home, opening things up to redecorate. However, now I am having decorating paralysis! I was thinking thinking two chairs situated parallel to the sofa but am unsure what style matches my existing sofa. Also, I need to choose a rug that will help brighten my space and also coordinate with all of the wood color in my home. Lastly, I would like to have a coffee table and other end tables for lamps, but again am unsure on a style that will feel seamless with my house.

Please help!!

looking at hearth
looking into kitchen
french doors straight ahead
sofa to right/fireplace left

Dear Lisa,

It sounds like you are ready to do a living room makeover. This is a wonderful time to bring your passion for decorating inside to create a warm and inviting space. We love your leather sofa, but it does look a little lonely. Let’s start by anchoring the space with a beautiful rug. Our Granada Rug in blue is a cheerful rug in a soothing tone. It’s available in a 9’x12’ size and will be a great foundation for your room.

L White

You mentioned needing some chairs for extra seating. Let’s try our Shiloh Spool Chairs in the walnut finish which will coordinate well with the leather. One of our favorite fabric is the Rayna Floral. It is on the colorful side but it’s a classic floral pattern that will balance your leather sofa. For a hardworking surface that can multi-task, we love an ottoman. Our Davis Tufted Ottoman in Queens Velvet Coral will function as an extra seat, or with a tray it can hold drinks. You also need some end tables like the Andrews Pedestal Accent Table in Graywash. One on either side of your leather sofa will fit nicely. To accommodate the spool chairs, we like to use unexpected side tables that can fit in tight places. The Classic Garden Seat in dark teal can service one of the spool chairs. We don’t think everything has to be symmetrical so let’s try a different side table for the other chair. The Allen Side Table is another great piece that can work with your room.

Each of our choices will work with the existing leather and wood tones in your room. We think the addition of some table lamps is a great idea. Suzanne Kasler’s Maddie Lamp is fabulous and has that special quality that brightens any space.

Since the fireplace will be the focal point in this room, we’d like to change the mirror to something more dramatic. The white frame blends into the wall which makes it disappear. We love the way our High Minded Art works with the fabrics and colors in your space. The height will also help draw the eye up, making your space feel bigger.

Lastly, our favorite way to spruce up any room is with pillows. We think a trio of coral toned pillows will brighten up your leather sofa and carry the color over to that side of the room. Try Rayna Coral, Merrick Coral, and Sloane Coral on the sofa.

Your living room makeover is complete!   Enjoy the new space and the warmth of the fire this fall as you cozy up with your family and friends.


The Design Solutions Team

Decorating around a leather sofa in a living room

Do you have a decorating dilemma? Send us your own questions here.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.